24 November, 2016
SNH welcomes Scottish Government decision on beaver reintroduction
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) welcomes the announcement today on the future of beavers in Scotland by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham.
SNH chairman, Ian Ross, said:
“The Scottish Government’s decision will see the return of a species which was part of our wildlife for thousands of years, before becoming extinct here around the 16th century. Our report to the government, ‘Beavers in Scotland’, shows that beavers can have a very positive impact on the environment, wetland habitats and wildlife, as well as socio-economic benefits. We’re now committed to working with land managers to minimise any potential negative effects the beavers might have on land use locally.”
SNH was asked to provide the “Beavers in Scotland” report to the Scottish Government in summer 2015 to aid in their decision. The report drew on 20 years of work on beavers, including information from the Scottish Beaver Trial, a five-year trial reintroduction in Argyll which finished last May; the study of more than 150 beavers living in the wild in Tayside; and work on the impact of beavers on salmon and trout and on areas of productive farmland. It also referred to the experiences that many other European and North American countries have had of living with beavers, presented findings on biodiversity and beavers and looked at where they might recolonise if allowed to stay.
An online copy of the Beavers in Scotland report is available at http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/search-the-catalogue/publication-detail/?id=2273
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